Oats and the Gluten-Free Diet: Q&A Part 2
Two weeks ago I posted on social media asking you to send me your questions on oats—anything that was on your mind. I did this because the situation with oats and the gluten-free diet is one of the most complicated issues I write about–something I’ve been doing for about 21 years.
Because you sent in so many questions, they are being answered in groups. This is the second Q&A post on oats. Some of your questions may have been slightly modified for clarity or combined with other similar questions.
Please make sure to read Oats and the Gluten-Free Diet: Q&A Part 1 before proceeding. This is very important to do. https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/oats-and-the-gluten-free-diet-qa-part-1/
A number of you asked about the “safety” of specific brands of labeled gluten-free oats, namely:
Bob’s Red Mill
Q: I buy exclusively GF Harvest oats. Are they safe?
A: If what you mean by “safe” is “are they produced under a gluten-free purity protocol” the answer is yes. As I wrote last week, purity protocol oats are produced following steps to control the presence of gluten-containing grain beginning with the seed used for planting. The protocols followed by the GF Harvest and other suppliers of purity protocol oats (e.g., Avena Foods, Montana Gluten-Free Processors, Glanbia) are outlined at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/oats-produced-under-a-gluten-free-purity-protocol-listing-of-suppliers-and-manufacturers/ and on supplier websites.
Q: Are Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats really gluten-free?
A: If what you mean by “gluten-free” is “are they purity protocol oats” then the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. Bob’s Red Mill uses both purity protocol oats and oats that are sorted. As I wrote last week, “Sorted oats are traditionally grown oats that undergo a sorting process at the mill to remove gluten-containing grain based on a variety of grain properties (e.g., size and color). According to Bob’s Red Mill “Our suppliers are innovative in controlling the presence of gluten by either avoiding crop rotation with gluten containing grains or using optical sorting technology to remove grain containing gluten.” To read the full statement from Bob’s Red Mill, please see the comments section at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/oats-produced-under-a-gluten-free-purity-protocol-listing-of-suppliers-and-manufacturers/#comments.
Q: Are Kind oats okay? The store was out of the regular gluten free granola I buy so I grabbed Kind.
A: If what you mean by “okay” is “are the oats purity protocol” then the answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. According to consumer email correspondence from Kind and shared with Gluten Free Watchdog, “A significant amount of our oats are produced under a purity protocol process while the remainder undergo sorting and lab-tested visual inspection methods.” For more information from Kind, please see the comments section at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/oats-produced-under-a-gluten-free-purity-protocol-listing-of-suppliers-and-manufacturers/#comments
Q: Are Quaker Gluten-Free Oats safe?
A: If what you mean by “safe” is “are the oats purity protocol” the answer is no. Quaker oats are sorted oats. However, based on all of the information available to us, including Quaker’s sampling and testing protocols and our own independent testing, Gluten Free Watchdog does not oppose the use of Quaker gluten-free oatmeal by the community of folks with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. We are not supportive of the use of any other sorted oat products at this time.
For a listing of providers of purity protocol oats see https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/oats-produced-under-a-gluten-free-purity-protocol-listing-of-suppliers-and-manufacturers/
If you have follow-up questions, please post them in the comments section. Thank you!